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"Loose" Tenancy Agreement

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Hi all,

 

Just moved into a new place and one thing that's surprised me, along with not having to pay any bond whatsoever (and no tricks such as increased rent), is how loose the tenancy agreement was.

 

Under the section along the lines of "termination of tenancy before the end of the term" there are 2 choices:

 

"a" basically stated that if I were to end the tenancy before the end of the term (12 months), I would be liable to pay the full term's rent.

 

"b" stated I would simply need to give the landlord one month's notice, and does not mention anything about paying the full term of rent, or any additional payment.

 

It asks to delete as appropriate. Naturally, from a tenant's perspective, "b" seemed more favourable, and I managed to get the agreement signed with "b" selected.

 

Does this mean that the term is now only defined by however long I wish to stay there? The agreement is for 12 months, yet the clause above states I only have to give a month's notice to terminate the agreement before the end of the term!

 

It would seem like the term is now dictated by the tenant as I chose not to be liable for payment of the full agreed term if I terminated.

 

I'm wondering if the landlord meant to agree this... :suspect:

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I think you need to go and speak to Housing Aid on 2735450.

 

Tenancy agreements can be tricky and changes can have big implications.

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Thanks Dizzy Chick, but I think you misunderstood. I don't want to change anything because it's so biased in the tenant's (my) favour.

 

Basically, the clause I chose seems to suggest I can give the landlord a month's notice before the end of the term and I won't have to pay anything to break the agreement.

 

I'm just wondering if this is unusual or something the landlord may have overlooked, as surely he would want me locked in for the full 12 month term.

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I suggest you get advice too, normally during a fixed term the only way you can end an agreement for definite if there is a break clause in the contract. The info you are stating may not be deemed to be a valid break clause so get specialist advice.

 

If you dont have a break clause you may be held liable for the rent for 12 months if you up and leave early unless you can agree a mutual surrender with the landlord (both agree for you to go TIP get it in writing!)

 

Speak to CAB or Housing Aid for more info

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Here's what was agreed and signed in the tenancy agreement...

 

Vacation of the Property before the end of the Term

 

The Tenant hereby agrees with the landlord that he shall give to the Landlord in writing at least one month's prior notice of his intention to terminate the tenancy created by this Agreement, the said notice to expire at the end of a tenancy period.

 

 

Is that a suitable get out clause? I assume "tenancy period" means the monthly payment period. I'm not actually planning on terminating before the end of the term, but it's a precaution.

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From a tenure point of view, if the property is being used as your seldom home and you are not shring with others, this deems it a tenancy and thus there are terms and conditions, normally as discussed above a 6 month or 12 month fixed term is used and then the tenancy becomes periodic - 1 months notice etc. It seems your landlord does not have a grasp of Housing Law and thus his tenancy agreement would not stand up if referred to a court of law. I would be wary of signing something that loose as it may come back with problems. A tenancy without a bond is a major risk to the landlord, as u say it is ideal for the tenant, but what happens if you cause damage, he has no bond to take it out of?? :loopy:

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From a tenure point of view, if the property is being used as your seldom home and you are not shring with others, this deems it a tenancy and thus there are terms and conditions, normally as discussed above a 6 month or 12 month fixed term is used and then the tenancy becomes periodic - 1 months notice etc. It seems your landlord does not have a grasp of Housing Law and thus his tenancy agreement would not stand up if referred to a court of law. I would be wary of signing something that loose as it may come back with problems. A tenancy without a bond is a major risk to the landlord, as u say it is ideal for the tenant, but what happens if you cause damage, he has no bond to take it out of?? :loopy:

 

This is exactly what I'm wondering. No bond, and what seems like an optional break clause in the agreement (see my post above). The term is fixed for 12 months as usual, but it's that extra break clause that I've not seen before.

 

He's picked the right tenant to be trusting of though :) I would certainly pay for any damage, bond or no bond.

 

As far as I know, landlords are entitled to agree with tenants caveats to the fixed term agreement, which it seems is what he's done, and I'm glad I have that option if the worst comes to the worst, rather than be locked in to the agreement.

 

:hihi:

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Remember tenancies are a two way thing, so if you have signed an agreement saying you will give one months notice to end tenancy, your landlord can do the same.

This type of tenancy is flexible, but does not stand up at all, as you have been signed up to i presume an assured shorthold tenancy, in a court of law, this justifies the fixed term 6 months and periodic after that, thus if you say you want to leave within 2 months, even tho the tenancy is incorrect, you would be liable i believe to pay at least upto 6 months rent unless it is an agreed surrender as mentioned above.

 

Be careful, the landlord is either very bad or knows whichever one you sign it doesn't really matter in the long run.

 

Did you landlord do credit checks, job references etc, what was the sign up like, did he go through each stage, e.g. breaches etc?

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Cheers Daryl

 

He did a credit check and just left the agreement with me to sign.

 

There was nothing in the agreement that gave the landlord permission to chuck me out before the end of the term. That break clause was specifically for the tenant.

 

I'm not clued up on the law in this respect, but surely a contract is a contract and if it states I can break the agreement before the term is up, then that is legally binding? It mentioned nothing about "only after 6 months". :huh:

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Is that a suitable get out clause? I assume "tenancy period" means the monthly payment period.

 

No: the tenancy period is the period (duration) of the tenancy, i.e. 12 months in your case. (The monthly payment period is the rental period.)

 

So, to me, the clause says that if you want to move out when the year is up, then you should give the landlord at least a month's notice in writing of that fact.

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No: the tenancy period is the period (duration) of the tenancy, i.e. 12 months in your case. (The monthly payment period is the rental period.)

 

So, to me, the clause says that if you want to move out when the year is up, then you should give the landlord at least a month's notice in writing of that fact.

 

But that clause was specifically entitled "Vacation of the Property before the end of the Term"

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Which would have been applicable if option a had been left standing. I agree the heading is a bit misleading, but I don't think that alters the substance of the clause.

 

There's some helpful information here: http://www.themovechannel.com/guides/Letting/Tenancy/Duration_and_termination_of_the_tenancy/ which might help even though it's written from the point of view of landlords.

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